The House of Representatives Committee on Rehabilitation of the North East has rejected the N45bn budget presented by the Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative for the rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
According to the committee, the budget contained “fictitious” sub-heads which did not address the immediate needs of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The Presidential Committee had presented the budget before the House committee last week in Abuja.
A copy of the budget revealed that N5.9bn will be spent on “thermal imaging equipment for military patrols.”
The sum of N495m was voted for another “North-East task force contact centre.”
Another N2.5bn was proposed for “rapid renovation and reconstruction of security outfits and other productive works.”
For “clearing of grasses”, the committee proposed N60m, while it another N80m for “disarmament mobilisation.”
The committee proposed N9.7bn for security, it voted N3bn for food; N1.7bn for rehabilitation of health facilities; and N2.6bn for agricultural livelihood support programmes.
A member of the House Committee said the programmes budgeted for are not beneficial to the IDPs.
He said, “Most of the proposals lacked details and it would appear that contracts had been programmed to be awarded for services that may not really be beneficial to the IDPs.
“For a small budget of N45bn, you will see that over N9.7bn will go to security, peace building and stabilisation.
“How much is left to attend to the welfare of the IDPs, who are scattered in camps in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states?”
Adamu Kamale, a lawmaker from Adamawa State said the budget for security was outrageous.
He said, “Here we are, complaining that N45bn is too small to address the problems of the IDPs in the North-East.
“There are no schools, no houses, no food supplies, and no hospitals and medicines, but the PCNI seems to be more interested in funding military operations.
“People are dying every day, we expected that the budget will devote substantial votes to the immediate needs of the IDPs.”
Chairman of the House Committee, Mr. Sani Zoro, said he ordered the budget to be returned to the PCNI.
“This budget is for re-working, especially the details are lacking. The House committee really has to know how this money will be spent in relation to the urgent needs of the IDPs,” Zoro stated.